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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 06/22/06

DE RUEHKO #3479/01 1730818
P 220818Z JUN 06





E.O. 12958: N/A

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(1) Survey shows only 35% of restaurant chains, retailers ready to
use US beef, sharp drop from previous survey

(2) Review of SDF deployment in Iraq (Part 1): Turning point in
Japan's international cooperation

(3) Review of SDF deployment in Iraq (Part 2): Information on
"actual combat" obtained on foot

(4) SDF dispatch to Iraq: Japan-US honeymoon saddles Japan with
heavy responsibility; Japan searches for suitable international

(5) GSDF pullout from Iraq and Japan-US alliance: Symbols out,
challenges in

(6) Poll on Murakami Fund flap


(1) Survey shows only 35% of restaurant chains, retailers ready to
use US beef, sharp drop from previous survey

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 3) (Full)
June 22, 2006

Following an agreement reached between the governments of Japan and
the United States yesterday on Japan's resumption of US beef
imports, only one third of major restaurant chains and retailers are
considering using or selling US beef, according to a survey by the
Nihon Keizai Shimbun. In a survey last November, nearly 60% of
respondents said they would use US beef. The latest survey showed
that companies are becoming more cautious about buying US beef. They
are expected to decide to use the product while watching the
situation for a while.

The survey looked at 60 leading restaurant operators and retailers
in mid-June, with replies sent by 54 companies.

Of the companies surveyed, 35.2% said they would use American beef,
with 7.4% (4 companies) saying they would use it immediately and
27.8% (15) saying they would use it after watching the situation. In
the previous survey conducted last November just before Japan
removed its ban on US beef imports, 59.1% of 50 companies surveyed
said they would use it.

Asking those who said they would wait and see about their conditions
for buying US beef, the survey showed that 12 companies cited
purchase price and profitability, and 10 cited improvements in
safety. Their cautious stance toward US beef is considered to
reflect concerns about high prices due to a limited volume of
imports, as well as the experience of vertebral columns, a specified
risk material, found in a shipment in January.

In the survey, 27 firms, or 50% of all the respondents, said they
would not use American beef for the time being. As for why, 12
companies said they were already using Australian beef, while
another 12 cited safety concerns. By business sector, 41.7% of
restaurant chains and 22.2% of supermarkets said they intend to use
US beef.

TOKYO 00003479 002 OF 008

(2) Review of SDF deployment in Iraq (Part 1): Turning point in
Japan's international cooperation

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
June 21, 2006

At a news conference yesterday afternoon, Prime Minister Koizumi
announced he would start pulling out Ground Self-Defense Force
(GSDF) troops from Iraq and reiterated in a firm tone: "I'll make
efforts for international cooperation while acknowledging the
importance of the Japan-US alliance. This is my position. I have
kept it, keep it now, and will keep it."

Back in December 2003, when Koizumi decided to send GSDF troops to
Iraq, he told then Defense Agency Director-General Ishiba and other
staff: "It's only natural for Japan to trust the United States, but
the question is whether Japan can become a country that the US can
trust. I'd like you to do your job, bearing this in mind."

Making the Japan-US alliance and international contribution
compatible is Japan's basic diplomatic guideline. Japan's
participation in reconstruction assistance to Iraq, along with 40 or
more other countries, such as the United States, Britain, South
Korea, and Thailand gave Japan an opportunity to prove through its
action that that guideline is not a mere hollow phrase.

Japan's participation in international peacekeeping operations
started with its dispatch of mine sweepers to the Persian Gulf in
1991 after the end of the Gulf War. Since then Japan has sent a
total of 5,300 SDF personnel abroad for the participation in nine
United Nations-led peacekeeping operations (PKO), for instance, one
in Cambodia and one in East Timor.

But the dispatch of SDF personnel to Iraq was not the same as the
past dispatches because of the high risk of their being targeted by
terrorism, which occurs frequently in that country.

On June 23 2005, when four GSDF vehicles were running in outskirts
of Samawah, an explosion occurred on the roadside. The explosion was
caused by a remote-controlled bomb that targeted GSDF troops.
Although no one was injured in the explosion, the incident came as a
great shock to the government because a terrorist act had been
committed in broad daylight, even though until then terrorist
activities always occurred at night.

"Nearby regions were suspected of hiding the perpetrator, and we
were on alert every day against a possible attack," a government
official said, looking back on those days.

Four months later, as a measure against an attack by a remote
controlled-bomb, the GSDF secretly installed a jamming device in
each vehicle.

"Should unforeseen accidents occur, the SDF's international
cooperation could roll back to where it was 10 years ago," the
government official explained.

The Defense Agency (JDA) continued its steady efforts to nip danger
in the bud one by one. Owing to these efforts, the GSDF is going to
successfully complete its two years and a half of missions in Iraq
without suffering a single casualty or firing a single shot.

This success may be attributable mainly to Japan's choice of

TOKYO 00003479 003 OF 008

Samawah, where the security situation is relatively stable. In
contrast, US forces have seen the number of deaths exceed 2,500
persons since the beginning of the war.

In June 2005, Koizumi revealed to his aides frankly: "I'd like to
withdraw GSDF troops from Iraq while I am in office." Early this
year, a proposal for a withdrawal of the troops at the end of March
was floated in the government.

British and Australian troops, who are in charge of public security
in Samawah, also wanted to do the same as Japan. In addition, a GSDF
officer who returned from Samawah suggested: "The daytime
temperature in the summer in Samawah exceeds 50 degrees centigrade.
Physical labor is tough. The local public's discontent also grows at
that time. In view of security factors, we hope a withdrawal will be
completed before we experience the third summer there."

But the establishment of a new Iraqi government was delayed widely
from the initial schedule in which the establishment of a new
government was planned for the end of 2005. This delay prompted
Japan to turn its plan around. Japan then said: "It's not possible
for only Japanese troops to return home, leaving British and
Australian troops behind."

Koizumi hoped Japan would act in concert with other countries on
international cooperation to the last moment.

On May 20, the new Iraqi government was established, and on the
afternoon of June 19, it chose Muthanna Province, where Samawah is
located, as the first province to which security control will be
transferred to Iraqi police. This development came, reflecting an
accord in political implications between Iraq, which wants to
quickly restore sovereignty, and Japan and Britain, both of which
hope for an early pullout, although the security situation there has
yet to turn for the better.

Several hours before Japan announced its decision to withdraw its
troops from Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Malik met with Japanese
Ambassador to Iraq Hisao Yamaguchi at the presidential office in
Baghdad and told Yamaguchi: "We have deeply appreciated the SDF's
contributions. We earnestly hope the friendship between Japan and
Iraq will be strengthened further in the future."

The dispatch of GSDF troops to Iraq that is certain to be taken as a
successful case of "human contributions" entailing risks never
experienced in the past has marked a turning point in Japan's
international peacekeeping cooperation. How Japan will make good use
of this experience for future cooperation remains to be seen.

(3) Review of SDF deployment in Iraq (Part 2): Information on
"actual combat" obtained on foot

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
June 22, 2006

In August 2004, six months after Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF)
troops arrived in Iraq, US forces raided Iraq's southern city Najaf,
one of holy cities in the country and Shiah cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's
militia's strongpoint. This raid put Samawah, where most of the
population are Shiites, in a volatile situation in no time. In fact,
the GSDF camp was exposed to threats of terrorist attacks four times
in only two weeks.

TOKYO 00003479 004 OF 008

Found at the scene of the attacks were mortar shells and other bombs
that impacted closely in one spot. "Their firing accuracy is high.
Their aim was to warn us, so they intentionally avoided targeting
the camp itself," a senior GSDF officer said. Dutch troops, who
were responsible for public security in Samawah, asked the GSDF to
allow the installation of a communication device in the GSDF camp so
that they could monitor communications between terrorists. Dutch
troops installed intercepting systems each in their camp as well as
the GSDF camp. The purpose was to monitor radio signals coming from
terrorists and their supporters. Once it was identified where the
signals came from, a raid would be made without delay.

Yuki Imaura, leader of the GSDF's second contingent to Iraq for
reconstruction assistance, now revealed that the GSDF had accepted
the above Dutch request: "If GSDF troops acted in concert with Dutch
troops, following information obtained through the monitoring
system, that would be a problem, but information sharing itself is
not a problem in legal terms. Doing so is urgently necessary for our
troops." For two weeks since then, Dutch personnel continued
eavesdropping on cell phone conversations exchanged in Samawah,
Imaura said. Every time the GSDF camp came under attack, Dutch
troops provided information, such as the locations of shooting and
anti-SDF forces in the region, to the GSDF.

Masahisa Sao, leader of the GSDF's advance troops in Iraq, met with
the chief of the police station in Muthanna Province the day after
he arrived in Samawah and set up a hotline to link his camp and the
police station. Sato cited the reason why he did so this way:
"Samawah has a population of 140,000 persons. If they feel antipathy
toward the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), our 600-strength unit is
powerless because they outnumber us. If we become the target of
their attack, we will surely suffer causalities." Sato made extra
efforts to gather information at the grassroots level.

Three months later, when Sato was driving an armed truck, a powerful
local figure who was waiting for GSDF vehicles to pass on the
roadside stopped him and said: "Disquieting moves lie in the road
ahead. SDF troops are certain to be involved in trouble. Do not go
ahead." Sato's unit stopped their activities of the day.

Ahead of starting activities in Iraq, GSDF troops underwent rifle
drills that assumed various situations. This is because, given the
chaotic situation in Iraq, where suicide terrorism has yet to cease,
it is highly probable that the troops will be attacked and suffer
causalities. In the firing range, they pulled the trigger shouting,
"Self-defense firing."

When they arrived in Samawah, they first patrolled the area and each
made a map by hand and put down the names of hospitals, schools, and
streets, and marked where they thought blind spots would be. Looking
back on those days, a chief guard officer said: "Information
gathering is the only way for us to secure our safety. A
satellite-photo map showing an overall city is available, but in
order to get information we actually need, we have to traverse the
area and sense the mood firsthand."

During training, information is provided, but in "actual warfare,"
information is unavailable or is limited. For the GSDF, their
two-and-a-half-year mission in Iraq has been a time for them to
learn how to actually operate.

(4) SDF dispatch to Iraq: Japan-US honeymoon saddles Japan with
heavy responsibility; Japan searches for suitable international

TOKYO 00003479 005 OF 008


NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
June 21, 2006

While debate over the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces personnel to
Iraq was continuing in Japan, a British veteran diplomat advised an
influential lawmaker of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and urged
Japan to dispatch its SDF. The British diplomat said to the LDP
lawmaker: "It is impossible to navigate the huge tanker that is the
United States from outside. Japan should accept the US request and
copilot the ship."

Britain has kept its assertiveness by acting in concert with the US,
although there have been disagreements between the two countries.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made a decision to send the SDF to
Iraq based on a similar idea to Britain's. Koizumi made that
decision to have Japan survive in the postwar international
community. Koizumi explained that Japan would strive to stabilize
the Middle East and eliminate terrorism, but it cannot be denied
that his underlining goal was cooperating with the United States.

Such an idea is not necessarily bad. "We will defend Japan at the
risk of our lives if Japan is attacked," said a senior US government
official. When considering the reality of the North Korean nuclear
and missile issues and the continued tensions in the Taiwan Strait,
Japan has no choice but to strengthen ties with the US.

It is important for Japan to calmly assess what kind of national
interests it has obtained through its cooperation with the US this
time around.

It is true that the Japan-US alliance has strengthened more than
ever before. Japan has become a county with which the United State
confers on important policy issues in advance. A government official
who recalls the time when Japan and the US clashed over trade
friction said: "The US has shared a great deal of its

Washington has now asked Japan's opinion on such issues as North
Korea, China, and nuclear proliferation.

Japan should not forget that it has now been saddled with
responsibility because of its SDF dispatch to Iraq. Tokyo must deal
seriously with the difficult issue of how far it should go along
with the US security strategy.

With the deployment of SDF troops to Iraq, the US has strengthened
its expectations of Japan, according to a former official of the
Bush administration. The US will likely expect similar or greater
contributions in the future. Since US expectations of Japan are
large, if Japan turns down a request, Japan-US relations will be
seriously damaged.

After endlessly repeating its legal position on the dispatch of SDF
personnel to the Gulf War in 1991, Tokyo provided only money. As a
result, Japan came under fire.

The Koizumi government seemed to have decided to dispatch the SDF to
Iraq without going through an in-depth debate due to the terrible
shock of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the US. It is urgent for
the next Japanese government to come up with a framework for
overseas dispatch of the SDF. Even though Japan has no other option

TOKYO 00003479 006 OF 008

but the Japan-US alliance to protect itself, it is absolutely
necessary to secure its national interests by taking advantage of
that bilateral alliance.

As the Blair government, which prioritizes cooperation with the US,
has been suffering from low public support, it is not that easy to
collaborate with the US. Superficial cooperation with the US will
not continue long, and it may instead create anti-American sentiment
in Japan. Three months are left in Prime Minister Koizumi's term in
office. Koizumi's decision to withdraw the SDF from Iraq probably
means that his administration is wrapping things up. The work of
sketching out the shape of Japan's international contributions will
become an assignment for the next government.

(5) GSDF pullout from Iraq and Japan-US alliance: Symbols out,
challenges in

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
June 21, 2006

"Not only Iraq, I'm also aware of the importance of Japan's alliance
with the United States. Bearing this in mind, Japan will fulfill its
responsibility in the international community." With this statement,
Prime Minister Koizumi underscored the "Japan-US alliance" in his
press remarks yesterday after announcing his decision to wind up
Japan's deployment of Ground Self-Defense Force troops in Iraq for
about two and a half years.

Koizumi will leave office in September. By then, the GSDF will
complete its troop pullout from Iraq. As a result, two symbols for
the Japan-US alliance will disappear. One is Koizumi's personal
relationship with US President Bush. The other is Japan's deployment
of mainstay troops as a US ally joining the US-led coalition of the

In September 2001, when the United States came under terrorist
attacks, President Bush declared a "war on terror." Koizumi soon
dispatched a Maritime Self-Defense Force squadron to the Indian
Ocean under an antiterror special measures law and also sent GSDF
troops to Iraq under an Iraq special measures law. Koizumi,
upholding the "Japan-US alliance in the world," acted in concert
with the United States in its global strategy.

In December 2003, Koizumi made up his mind to send GSDF troops to
Iraq. He cited the "Japan-US alliance" to account for his dispatch
of GSDF troops to Iraq. The deployment of those GSDF troops in Iraq
has been a symbol of the alliance. It has produced an unprecedented
honeymoon relationship between the Japanese and US leaders.

One government official said: "The prime minister is lucky. He sent
GSDF troops to Iraq, and the United States feel something to pay for
it." There is a relationship of mutual trust between the two
leaders. It has worked as a stabilizer of bilateral relations, so
the two countries have minimized their standoff over Japan's embargo
on US beef and other bilateral trade issues.

However, the price for it was not light.

Japan sent troops to a warring country for the first time. This
troop dispatch has changed Japan's Self-Defense Forces and their
roles. Along with the MSDF' mission in the Indian Ocean, Japan has
globalized the SDF's rear-echelon support for US forces. From now
on, Japan would be asked to back up the United States in other

TOKYO 00003479 007 OF 008

regions with its dispatch of SDF troops.

The gear wheel cannot be easily turned back.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is also seeking to establish a
permanent law allowing Japan's global dispatch of SDF troops. Japan,
under the Koizumi government, has sent a number of SDF troops
overseas. The grounds for those overseas SDF missions were
time-limited ad hoc laws.

In his press remarks yesterday, Koizumi said he was not thinking of
creating a permanent law while his cabinet is in office. However,
his Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe took a positive stance in a press
conference yesterday about the idea of permanent legislation. The
question is whether to create a permanent law and how to review the
SDF's roles. These challenges will be handed over to Koizumi's

With the two emblems being lost, the post-Koizumi government will be
tasked with a number of pending issues beyond what to do about the
modality of SDF support for US forces. Another question is what to
do about cost sharing for US troop redeployment in the process of
realigning the US military presence in Japan. This is also an
immediate, heavy challenge in store for the next government.

Koizumi has kept up his deep commitment to US strategy. Post-Koizumi
candidates running in the LDP presidential election should clearly
answer whether they will take over or think twice about the
commitment. They should also clarify their blueprints of the
Japan-US alliance.

(6) Poll on Murakami Fund flap

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
June 22, 2006

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage.)

Q: The other day, Yoshiaki Murakami, who set up the Murakami Fund,
was arrested by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on
suspicion of violating the Securities Exchange Law, which prohibits
insider stock trading. What do you think lies behind this incident?
Pick as many as you like from among those listed below.

Investors' lack of morality 46.3
Investors' pursuit of profits first 50.1
Flaws in stock trading rules 36.3
Shortfalls in stock market watchdog functions 36.0
Money-is-everything climate 51.8
Other answers (O/A) 0.6
Nothing in particular 3.4
No answer (N/A) 3.4

Q: Do you think the arrests of former Livedoor Co. President Horie
and Murakami will correct the money-is-everything climate?

Yes 18.4
Yes to a certain degree 17.4
No to a certain degree 19.9
No 41.4
N/A 2.9

TOKYO 00003479 008 OF 008

Q: Murakami demanded that corporations consisting of stockholders,
employees, and clients give first consideration to the rights of
stockholders. Do you agree to this way of thinking?

Yes 9.9
Yes to a certain degree 15.2
No to a certain degree 22.8
No 42.0
N/A 10.0

Q: Murakami is depicted with the following two images. Which image
is closer to yours?

A: He urged hidebound corporate managers to change their way of
B: He pursued short-term profits and tooled corporations for money

A 12.7
A to a certain extent 8.8
B to a certain extent 20.6
B 52.0
N/A 6.0

Q: These days, the prosecution has been watching stock market
players even more strictly for illegalities. Do you appreciate such

Very much 50.9
Somewhat 35.4
Not very much 6.9
Not at all 2.8
N/A 4.1

Polling methodology
Date of survey: June 17-18.
Subjects of survey: 3,000 persons chosen from among all eligible
voters throughout the country (at 250 locations on a stratified
two-stage random sampling basis).
Method of implementation: Door-to-door visits for face-to-face
Number of valid respondents: 1,815 persons (60.5% ).


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